Justin Benesch

Justin Benesch Photo


Justin Benesch

Professor of Biophysical Chemistry


01865 285420

Research group

Benesch Group


My research focuses on developing and using new experimental methodologies that enable unprecedented quantitative insight into the states and structures that proteins adopt. In our group, we integrate the data we gather using these new techniques with computational strategies, incorporating evolutionary history and measurements of cellular activity to uncover the physico-chemical determinants of biomolecular function.

To overcome the structural heterogeneity frequently displayed by proteins and their complexes, we exploit the separative capabilities of mass spectrometry to probe and manipulate individual states—both at, and away from, equilibrium. This has allowed us to gain valuable insights into the processes of molecular recognition, and the regulation of protein interactions.


After a degree in Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Justin obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge for the development and application of novel mass spectrometry approaches working with Professor Dame Carol Robinson. He was awarded fellowships from the Medical Research Council and Royal Society, and appointed to faculty at the University of Oxford in 2012, where he is now Professor in Biophysical Chemistry. He is also Tutorial Fellow in Physical Chemistry at University College Oxford. Justin’s research has garnered an international reputation for innovative biophysical chemistry approaches, based on combing mass measurement with other experimental methods., simulations, and quantitative thermodynamic and kinetic analysis. This allows him and his group to change our thinking as to how proteins assemble, interact, and even evolve. This effort has been recognised by the Cell Stress Society international Alfred Tiessieres Award, the Howard Prize Lecture from the biophysical Science Institute at Durham and the Norman Heatley Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2019. Justin is a founder of Refeyn Ltd, which provides mass photometry solutions to the life sciences community.


University College